If you’ve been shopping for garden furniture in the UK, you’ve probably heard the terms “wicker” and “rattan”. You might think that rattan and wicker are two different types of garden furnishing that can be compared. However, it’s not what you think.
In this article, we’ll shed light on the difference between rattan and wicker furniture, so you can make an informed decision when buying furniture for your home.
Difference Between Rattan and Wicker
Rattan is a material used in manufacturing garden furniture, while wicker is a type of weaving used in this furniture. Many wicker pieces of furniture and categories are made out of rattan, explaining where the confusion came from.
Rattan: A Strong Fibrous Garden Furniture Material
Rattan is known for being robust and weatherproof, explaining why it’s one of the most favourable materials for making garden furniture. It’s also lightweight, unlike wrought iron which is too heavy for outdoor use.
The material naturally grows in some regions in Africa, Australia, and Asia. There are more than 600 different rattan species, and many are used in making garden furniture.
Wicker: A Reliable Style of Weave
Contrary to popular belief, wicker isn’t material. Wicker is a technique used in making woven items using natural materials like rattan, bamboo, leed, and willow. The method dates back to ancient Egypt, but wicker designs have only started getting popular in the 20th century.
Recently, some synthetic materials have been used in making wicker furnishings, but natural materials still dominate. The whole point of wicker products is to create furniture that’s durable but also lightweight. The volume of wicker items is considerably large compared to their weight because a good per cent of it is air.
Since wicker items are handmade, their quality for open-space utilisation is simply unmatchable.
Is Rattan Furniture Any Good?
Rattan garden furniture is an excellent choice, indeed. There are numerous advantages that it offers, which include the following.
Wicker furniture looks absolutely gorgeous when used in gardens. It has a “zen” look and feel to it that perfectly matches green landscapes.
Rattan wicker furniture is quite sturdy, especially if you pick pieces with thick frameworks.
No matter what the weather conditions are, your rattan furnishing can take it like a champ. It’s resistant to sunlight exposure, and it doesn’t wear out because of rain, making it an excellent all-year-round choice for your garden in the UK, regardless of the weather.
Rattan items are very durable. A set of furniture made out of rattan is usually expected to last for over 10 years in the UK, provided that you take care of its maintenance.
Rattan furniture can be great in all settings, be it indoors or outdoors. You can add some items made of this material to your patio, kitchen, bathroom, or balcony, and it’d blend in perfectly!
Rattan products and sets are more eco-friendly than wood ones because no tree cutting is involved. Manufacturers deal with harvesters who just cut the vines that grow back over time.
However, cutting stalks prematurely can prevent them from growing back. There are special techniques used in avoiding that, so make sure that the company that manufactures the furniture sets uses them.
Good rattan home furnishings should be UV-stabilised so you can leave them outdoors 365 days a year without worrying about damage.
Rattan furnishings, including dining sets, chairs, and corner sofas, aren’t very comfortable, so make sure they have enough padding and an adequate number of well-filled cushions made of high-quality fabric.
Rattan items are easy to maintain. All you need is a bucket full of soapy water and a soft sponge to make your rattan items as shiny as new!
How Does Synthetic Rattan Compare to Natural Rattan?
Artificial rattan is an alternative to natural rattan. It’s more durable, meaning that you can leave it outdoors all year. However, poly rattan isn’t as eco-friendly as natural rattan (if the stakes aren’t cut prematurely). Not to mention, natural rattan has a touch of beauty that human-made rattan doesn’t come close to.
Both are close when it comes to comfort and price point, though.
What Is the Best Type of Garden Furnishing?
It’s a matter of personal preference, but teak and rattan are the most popular garden furniture types, even if you’re opting for a full set. Some people also like powder coated aluminium garden furniture because it’s more durable, but it heats up pretty quickly in summer. Just avoid plastic types of furnishing at all costs.
Material isn’t the only thing you need to take into consideration, though. For example, chairs with thicker frames tend to be more durable. Also, make sure that all the pieces of a set are well-padded and the cushions are generously filled for extra comfort. The same goes for a sofa!
What Kind of Outdoor Furniture Is the Most Durable?
Generally speaking, aluminium garden furniture is the most durable. Steel is sometimes used, too. However, when it comes to garden furniture, metal isn’t as popular as other alternatives, like rattan, because it heats up quickly when left outside all year round.
Maybe you were expecting a comparison between wicker and rattan, but the answer is that we simply can’t compare them. It’s like comparing cotton shirts with crew neck shirts; it doesn’t make much sense to use both in comparison, does it? That’s a product, and that’s an entirely different product.
But let’s look at the bright here; you got a garden furniture buying guide in the UK instead! You’re now fully aware of the difference between wicker and rattan, which helps you shop for outdoor place furniture. Don’t forget to add some accessories, like parasols, and maybe a side table or two.